From the OPP’s website we learn that “the autopsy revealed that Karen Caughlin’s injuries were consistent with having been struck with a vehicle, but may also have been assaulted. Due to the circumstances of the manner in which the body was found and the evidence collected this case is considered to be a homicide.”
Karen’s body was bruised from top to toe. She has a crushed pelvis, lacerated kidneys, a broken arm, a broken jaw, and severe back of the head injury with brain seepage.
I received these two pieces of information from the Caughlin family:
I: “When my sister and I were taken to the morgue in 1974 we both observed a straight line red mark around the front of Karen’s neck. In 2006, we questioned the OPP about this and they stated it to be road rash. I contacted a Forensics Motor Vehicle Collision Expert and he says impossible. We believe this to be a ligature mark.”
II: “Karen was involved in a hit and run two weeks before her murder. She was hitch-hiking with her boyfriend and the boyfriend stated the truck swerved towards them and the mirror on the truck hit Karen’s upper arm and spun her around and she fell to the ground. The driver took off. The truck was blue. Karen wore a sling for a week on her arm for it was severely bruised. No charges were ever laid and there is no paper trail of this.”
This would explain some of the bruises.
C: Location Mr. Kells
Mr. Gordon Kells told police that around 530am on Saturday morning, March 16, 1974; he heard a car park in front of his house. That car drove away as soon as Mr. Kells turned on his porch lights. Mr. Kells lived on the same side of the road where Karen’s body was found.
What I’d like to know is what woke Mr. Kells up? The headlights? Did he hear car doors or a trunk close?
D: Information about the car
Chrysler Canada immediately cooperated with police and provided authorities with lists of all vehicle identification numbers of all the cars that were factory painted “plum crazy.” They were also provided a list of what car dealerships received which cars.
However, during the mid-70s, a lot of car races were held in the Sarnia-Port Huron area. But police did not make the public in the Port Huron or along the Michigan border aware that they were looking for a particular vehicle until one year after Karen’s death.
To be continued.